September prices up across the DC Metro area, led by 10 percent gains in the District

Posted on October 12, 2015 by Corey Hart



Region sees double-digit percent gains in closed sales and contracts

Rockville, MD – (October 12, 2015) – The following analysis of the Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing market has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) and is based on September 2015 MRIS housing data.


The Washington, D.C. housing market began the fall season with very strong sales activity.  Pending sales are at their highest September level in at least a decade, while sold activity is at the highest September level since 2006.  Median sales prices rose slightly and overall inventories increased, although the inventory growth rate continues to slow.  Median days-on-market increased by one.

There were 4,117 closed sales in September, which represents the highest level of September sales since 2006.  Closed sales were up 15.4% compared to last year and down 8.8% over last month.  New contracts were at the highest September level in at least a decade; at 4,781 the number of new contracts was up 12.5% over last year and up 1.4% over last month.  The overall median sales price rose 2.6% to $400,000.  All property types experienced increases in median sales price, with condos up 3.5% to $295,000, single-family detached up 2.7% to $487,750 and townhomes up 2.6% to $400,000.  Month-over-month prices were down by 2.7% overall, with single-family detached down 2.5%, condos down 2.4% and townhomes unchanged.

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Inventories increased for the 24th consecutive month, gaining 6.5% to 12,955 active listings at the end of September.  Condos had the largest percentage increase (13.5%) in the number of listings to 3,262.  The number of townhomes listings rose 7.7% to 2,600 and the number of single-family detached listings rose 3.1% to 7,080.  The number of new listings rose 3.2% to 6,882, with townhomes showing the largest increase at 10.5%, followed by condos up 1.7% and single-family detached up 0.5%. This marked the highest level of new September listings since 2007.  Median days-on-market (DOM) increased to 27, which is one day more than last year and two days more than last month.


Best September sales tally since 2006; all property segments show growth for seventh consecutive month. There were 4,117 closed sales in September, a 15.4% increase compared to last year, making this the tenth consecutive month of year-over-year increases and the highest level of September sales tally since 2006.  Closed sales exceeded the five-year average of 3,541 and the 10-year average of 3,578 by 16.3% and 15.1% respectively.  Year-to-date, there have been 38,621 closed sales across the region, which is up 10.5% compared to last year. All jurisdictions in the region show increases in the number of sales compared to last year.    

All market segments showed increases in the number of closed sales year-over-year. Detached single-family sales were up the most with a 20.3% increase to 1,984 sales.  Condo sales increased by 15.2% to 1,113 and townhome sales were up 7.3% to 1,020.  As would be expected for this time of year, overall sales compared to last month are down by 398 units or 8.8%. This is a more modest month-over-month decline than normal seasonal patterns for the region, as the ten-year average August-to-September decrease is -16.2%. 


New September contracts are at best level in a decade, showing slight gains from August.  There were 4,781 new pending sales recorded in September, a 12.5% increase compared to last year.  This is the eleventh consecutive month of year-over-year increases, and the eighth consecutive month that all market segments demonstrated year-over-year increases. New contracts are at the highest September level since 2005 and exceeded the 5-year average of 4,263 by 12.1% and the 10-year average of 3,856 by a strong 24.0%.  Townhomes had the largest year-over-year increase at 19.7% with 1,270 pending sales, followed by single-family detached with an 11.3% increase to 2,280 pending sales, and condos with an 8% increase to 1,230 pending sales.  There was a slight and mildly surprising 1.4% increase in contract activity compared to last month, which is notable considering that September’s new pending sales have declined from August by an average of 5.0 percent over the last ten years.  Townhome contracts were up 6.5% compared to August, leading all segments in month-over-month gains.


Median sales prices increase, all property segments and jurisdictions enjoy gains.  The September median sales price of $400,000 is a $10,000 or 2.6% increase over September 2014 and marked the highest September level since 2006.  All property segments saw pricing gains, led by a 3.5% gain for condos which had a median sales price of $295,000. Single-family detached median sales prices were up 2.7% to $487,750 and townhome prices rose 2.6% to $400,000.  The year-to-date median sales price of $415,000 is up 1.7% versus the same nine months last year.  September sales volume across the region was slightly more than $2 billion, up 19.4% compared to last year.

Across the region, median sales prices were up in all jurisdictions, while the number of sales increased everywhere except in Fairfax City and Falls Church City.  With a median sales price of $810,000, a 9.3% increase over last year, Falls Church City saw a 15% decline in the number sales to 17.  In Arlington County, prices increased 8.5% to $575,000 on 254 sales, a 13.4% increase.  Washington, D.C. prices increased 10.1% to $512,000, leading the region in price growth.   The District’s 651 sales marked a 14.6% increase over last year. 

In Fairfax County, the median sales price rose 3.8% to $467,250 on an 11% increase in the number of sales to 1,118.  Fairfax City saw a 1.7% increase in median sales price to $450,000, with a 3.9% decrease in the number of sales to 25.  In Alexandria City, median sales prices rose 6.5% to $450,000 on 217 sales, a 32.3% increase over last year.  Montgomery County saw prices increase by 1.3% to $395,000, on 1,012 sales, a 14.5% increase compared to last year.  Prince George’s County had a median sales prices increase of 6.7% to $240,000 on 823 sales, a 21.8% increase over last year.


Inventories and new listings continue to rise, new listings are at highest September level since 2007, DOM increase slightly.  There were 12,955 active listings at the end of September, a 6.5% increase over last year.  This marks the 24th consecutive month of increases in the year-over-year number of active listings.  After rising to a peak year-over-year increase of 34.6% in August 2014, inventory growth has steadily declined to the current level.  The 12,955 active listings represent 3.2 months of supply, continuing to show a seller’s market.  Condo inventory growth remains strongest, with a 13.5% increase in the number of active listings to 3,262.  The number of townhome listings is up 7.7% to 2,600 and single-family detached listings are up 3.1% to 7,080.  Inventory levels exceed the 5-year average of 11,753, but are remain significantly below the 10-year average of 16,407.  Compared to last month inventories are up 5.1%.  Inventories are up compared to last year in all jurisdictions across the metro area except for Washington D.C. and Falls Church City. 

The 6,882 new listings in September represent a 3.2% increase over last year and are up year-over-year for the 10th consecutive month.  New listings for townhomes increased by the largest percentage of 10.5% to 1,741, followed by condos which were up 1.7% to 1,828 and single-family detached up 0.5% to 3,309. The number of new listings exceeds both the 5-year average of 6,035 and the 10-year average of 6,627.  The number of new listings for the period January-September is up by 4,879 or 8.8% compared to last year. 

Median days-on-market (DOM) increased to 27, which is up one day from last year and up two days from last month.  Median days-on-market are just slightly below the 5-year September average of 28 days but well below the 10-year average of 39 days.  Townhomes continue to have the lowest median DOM of 20 days, while condos have a median DOM of 28 and single-family detached have a median DOM of 31.  Closed sales in Washington D.C. had the lowest median DOM of 14 (the same as last year), while those in Falls Church City are the highest at 36 days, up significantly from last year’s 16, but on very small volume of 17 units.


About the RBI Metro Housing Market Update

The DC Metro Area Housing Market Update provides unique insights into the state of the current housing market by measuring the number of new pending sales, trends by home characteristics, and key indicators through the most recent month compiled directly from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data in RBI’s proprietary database. The DC Metro Area housing market includes: Washington, D.C., Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland, and Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, and Falls Church City in Virginia. 


About RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC

RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC (RBI) is a primary source of real estate data, analytics and business intelligence for real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Monthly reports for all jurisdictions in the MRIS region, along with interactive charts and graphics, can be found at RBI is the only company in the Mid-Atlantic region that provides timely, online access to statistical information directly from the MRIS MLS.


About Elliot Eisenberg

Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is the Chief Economist of GraphsandLaughs, LLC, a firm specializing in economic consulting and data analysis.  He is a frequent speaker on topics including: economic forecasts, economic impact of industries such as homebuilding and tourism, consequences of government regulation, economic development and other current economic issues. Dr. Eisenberg earned a B.A. in economics with first class honors from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a Masters and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University. Eisenberg was formerly a Senior Economist with the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C.   He is a regularly featured guest on cable news programs, talk and public radio, writes a syndicated column and authors a daily 70 word commentary on the economy that is available at

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